My cousin called me last Tuesday to complain about how his mechanic had messed up his car’s gearbox and had since been running away from him.
The sweet-tongued artisan had managed to squeeze quite a substantial amount from him, only to give excuses any time my cousin went for his car, which had been at the workshop for the past two months.
Apparently, his car had been experiencing abnormal jerky movements while changing gears and being safety conscious, he had gone to see the mechanic to deal with the malfunction.
Three months down the line, my cousin is still chasing the mechanic for his car which cannot even puff.
“This guy has demobilised me. Now I depend on taxis, uber or sometimes trotro to move around when I have a car sitting in his workshop. I don’t know what I’ll do to him if I get hold of him.
“It is not fair. Why couldn’t he tell me he couldn’t handle it,” he said fuming on the phone. Apart from sympathising with his plight, I could only urge him to report the mechanic to the police and get the vehicle to be towed to another workshop.
Many people are victims of these circumstances because of the calibre of mechanics they depend on to service their vehicles. An auto-mechanic carries the enviable title of a physician or surgeon that keeps your car in shape on the road. They can be as significant to the life of your car as a doctor is to your life.
Whether it is a jalopy that has seen better days, which is able to endure the daily hustle on the road, or a new car, it is good to have a competent and trustworthy auto-mechanic who will take good care of your vehicle.
There is one undeniable truth about vehicles—their parts and the cost of labour in fixing them can be very expensive hence the need to have an honest and reliable mechanic to handle them.
The problem with auto mechanics
According to Mr Sam Nelson, an auto specialist, honesty is in short supply in most mechanic workshops in the country, because clients are always in a hurry and do not want to pay what would provide a lasting solution to their problems.
“People want cheap things. They want to pay second-hand fees for first class service. It doesn’t work that way,” he said.
However, according to autorepair.com, the problem is rather with mechanics who wants to make extra money by cutting corners.
This means that they may create more problems for an unsuspecting car owner by replacing a bad part with a used part, even when the client has paid for a new one.
Although this is illegal, some mechanics do this so that the car owner will have no option but to bring the car back for the problem to be fixed again.
So with all these at the back of your mind, what should you expect of your mechanic?
According to settleschools.com, a mechanic can be a car owner’s best friend or worst nightmare. When car problems arise, people depend heavily on their mechanic to diagnose and repair the issue in as little time as possible.
They expect mechanics to work quickly and ethically. Therefore, as you hunt for a mechanic, look out for, at least, half of the qualities listed below:
1. Strong customer service skills
Great mechanics are able to relate well to customers. They are able to communicate effectively with them and put them at ease about the diagnosis and repair suggestions.
2. Strong communication skills
A good mechanic has excellent communication skills and is able to translate complex technical jargon into simple language to the understanding of the average customer.
3. Good diagnostic skills
A great auto mechanic is able to quickly identify the source of a problem and other related issues. He is aware of diagnostic resources and takes advantage of them as necessary.
4. Problem-solving skills
Good mechanics can quickly suggest possible ways of addressing problems. They should be able to find the best solution in a limited amount of time.
5. Solid work ethic
A great mechanic has a solid work ethic. He is committed to quickly solving and repairing problems and is honest with customers.
6. Strong technical aptitude
Mechanics should be able to use a variety of technical tools to diagnose and address a wide variety of vehicular problems.
7. Up-to-date technology
Vehicles and technology are continually evolving, and great mechanics stay on top of these changes so they can best serve their customers. As automatic cars become more popular, for example, mechanics will be knowledgeable on the most common problems or what could be the most common problems.
Mechanics interested in advancing in the profession have savvy leadership skills and are able to take charge when situations warrant.
While certification is not a requirement of mechanics, it demonstrates a sense of motivation and ambition to both employers and customers. Certification also ensures that the mechanic is up-to-date on the latest technologies and techniques in the industry.
10. Personal tool inventory
Though not always required of a mechanic, a personal inventory of high-quality tools can ensure that a mechanic feels comfortable using tools, and learning new tools as they become available.. Many mechanics use their own tools on customers’ vehicles.